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Review Previous Article: ASL signed music can be beautiful and meaningful for Deaf people. How? Plan Ahead – Understand the Song – Picture the Song – Rephrase the Song – Ask for Help – Share the Process

Consider “Frozen” Text – Ask yourself, “Will this song be repeated every service?” If so, all of your interpreters should consider signing it the same way each time.

Memorize the Song
– Learn the words and tune for common songs so you can become more creative with the signs. Sign with the tempo and emotion of the music.

Use Your Eyes
– Learn the difference between looking up toward heaven, down toward sin, and looking toward the person for some music sections. Communicate with eyes!

Be Flexible – As you sign, be aware of what others see. If your interpretation is not clear, change on the second verse or the next time on the refrain. Adjust is a must.

Allow Different Interpretations – Realize that not every signer will be the same as you. Also realize that you can learn from others’ ideas and signs. Later you may even disagree with your own signs. (Been there, done that.)

It’s Not About Me! – Never insert your emotions into a song. Allow the message of the song to communicate more than your own feelings. It doesn’t matter what you feel. It does matter what the song means.

Grow and Learn – No signer was born with perfect signs. Learn and improve every time you interpret a song. If something goes wrong, fix it next time. You should not be judged by one song, but by your improvement over time.

Always make ASL interpreted church music beautiful and meaningful for others. Practice and adjust each step of the way. Use ASL music to help the music leader accomplish the musical goal of the church service.

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